Listen: Sleepin’ With The TV On / The Dictators
A bit of a baffling one here. Got to know Andy Shernoff, who wrote this, quite well via Joey Ramone. They were close friends way before I knew either, having played shows together in the early CBGB’s days. Logically, and given the small world we live in, Andy’s close to Monte Melnick, Mickey Leigh and Lindsay Hutton as well. So the fit was natural. But most importantly, he’s a super guy with never a bad word to say about anyone.
And his lifelong bandmate, Dick Manitoba, well same story. A real testament to strength, business sense and flawless musical instinct. Even though we all socialized often for the past twenty years, it wasn’t until tonight did I realize I’d not heard ‘Sleepin’ With The TV On’ for almost as long. How could this be?
Simple, it’s an overlooked, not true to the purists, representation of The Dictators’ harder sound. Instead, I suppose it was power pop, not a genre that brings out my loyalty either.But having caught Manitoba’s Sirius radio show earlier tonight in my new satellite equipped car, it suddenly dawned on me that the first thing I needed to revisit upon arriving home was this single. Which I just did.
True to memory, ‘Sleepin’ With The TV On’, by song’s end and as a result of Andy’s picture perfect chorus, is something else. Now I recall why I loved it so during it’s time of release. Still, the record is an anomaly when it comes to the band’s signature sound, and to quote Little Steven, they were “the connective tissue between the eras of The MC5, Stooges, The New York Dolls, and the punk explosion of the mid to late 1970s”. What’s to disagree about?
They were that and the originators of this classic singalong.